Monday, June 8, 2009

Freight Stories Authors Take the World by Storm!

The authors in our first five issues are kicking all kinds of major butt. Need proof?

  • Christopher Newgent's "At the Fire Scene" and John McNally's "Ascension," both published in Freight Stories, have been selected for the Wigleaf Top 50, which honors the best flash fiction published online. Kyle Minor, whose story "The Navy Man" appeared in our second issue, has a different story in the Top 50. Darlin' Neal served as the selecting editor for the Wigleaf Top 50, and three of her short-shorts appeared in our second issue. Sherrie Flick's "Inside, No, Further In" from our first issue also made the longlist.
  • Victoria Patterson's book of linked stories, Drift, is out now from Houghton Mifflin.
  • Patricia Henley is publishing a serialized novel, Home Plate, on her new blog. Word on the street is that she's just completed a short story collection that includes "Red Lily" from Freight Stories No. 3.
  • Several FS authors had their work nominated for the Million Writers Award, including Cathy Day, Gina Ochsner, Susan Neville, Alexander Parsons, and Kyle Minor.
  • Nathan Graziano's new book of poetry, After the Honeymoon, will be published in September.
  • Rachel Furey won the Wabash Prize from the Sycamore Review; Tobias Wolff selected her story "Birth Act" and it will appear in print next year.
  • Margaret McMullan's Cashay is now available from Houghton Mifflin.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

No. 5 is on the way.

We think you're gonna like it.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Join FS contributor Patricia Henley and poet Dana Roeser for a great summer workshop

Freight Stories readers who write: Here's a great chance to join award winning novelist and short story writer Patricia Henley and award winning poet Dana Roeser for a lovely weekend in Nashville, Indiana to recharge your writing life. The Right Track workshop for writers and poets will take place at the end of May at the beautiful Artists Colony Inn.

Learn more here, and join us for an energizing, fun weekend!

See you there,

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What's With the Crazy?

So it's been a strange month. As you know, we were scrambling throughout January to get No. 4 published, after the fall semester at our regular jobs and the holidays beat us up a bit. Of course, we can take being beat up by our jobs--they pay us for that.

It's getting beat up here at Freight Stories that confuses me. We've had two recent e-mail situations that caused us to raise an eyebrow. First, when Andrew let a submitter know we don't consider poetry, said submitter responded with not one but eight profane and violent e-mail replies, delivered to both of our inboxes over the course of an entire night. I'm hoping there were intoxicants involved, because the messages were scary and we're not that hard to find.

More recently, someone sent us a needlessly nasty e-mail, calling us "amateurs," admonishing us for not using a spell check, and pointing out that our 1/27 open submissions announcement was full of spelling errors, as was our web site. We made no call for open submissions in January. We were working feverishly on the issue on January 27. But because I'm a bit paranoid, I spent part of my morning spell-checking the pages of the site. There are no spelling errors. It's entirely possible that we made an editing slip in one of the stories in No. 4. It wouldn't be the first time that happened. But I trust, since we have a great working relationship with the writers we publish, that if there's a typo in your story, you'll tell us. Then we'll fix it immediately. Because even though we don't get paid, and we fund the entire Freight Stories operation out of our pockets and the kindness of donors, we are professionals in this role. We take our authors' work more seriously than our own, most days.

All this animosity raises a number of questions:

1. Where are these people coming from? We're listed on Duotrope, New Pages, and a few other sites where people look up magazines. But if you're sending us poetry, you haven't read either our issues or our submission guidelines. Since our entire operation is completely free to the reader, this is totally unacceptable. Certainly, as a younger writer with no money to be had anywhere, I was guilty of submitting to a journal I'd never read from time to time, particularly if that journal cost ten bucks and I was waiting tables sixty hours a week to get by. But to not even look at the web site of an online journal? Lazy. And the typo guy either thinks we're someone else or doesn't read/speak Standard American English. It's possible that things are misspelled if you expect the site to be in British or Australian dialect. But if you think that, you, too, didn't read the site.

2. What's up with the meanness? I just spent a few days in a hotel with 8,000 writers; they're good people, writers. We all know that writing requires a certain level of ego just to be able to face the empty page. But don't people involved in any way with literature recognize that it's a communal endeavor, that sending nasty and inaccurate e-mails to an editor is not, not, not good karma? And that it's not good business? If I was the mean-spirited amateur these folks seem to expect here, I would tell you their names and give you their e-mail addresses, and I would contact the many, many editors I know to do the same. I won't, because that's not the kind of business literary editors take part in.

3. Did I mention that we don't get paid for this? A few weeks ago, when we were finishing the issue, I had a bit of a breakdown, and had to ask Andrew when we'd get to the good part, where there's some joy involved in this laborious volunteer gig. It had been a while since we put out #3, we had gotten eight crazy, violent e-mails, and I was exhausted with work. Putting out the issue was joyful. It was also taxing in a way that nothing else I do is taxing, and was done purely for the joy of the end product. There is no other reward for this work.

So, dear readers, if you've got something to say about Freight Stories, we'd love to hear it. But if you're mean, violent, dismissive, or insulting, don't bother. We don't have time for that.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

back from AWP

Which isn't as exciting as it sounds. For those who don't know anything about AWP, it's an annual conference for writers and writing programs. Basically, it's an excuse for writers to get together, talk a bunch of smack about other writers, editors, magazines, publishers, agents, and so on while drinking quite a bit and eating around the clock.

This year's conference was in Chicago, three hours north of us. An easy drive. Parking, however? Not so easy. Or cheap, rather.

We didn't spring for a table in the bookfair for a few reasons. First, it's kind of expensive. But also, we don't have physical books to put on said table. And neither of us wants to sit at said table all day for for three days. We did make bookmarks and pass them out to random strangers, and also left them on the "free for all" tables throughout the hotel.

Still, we did meet several readers and submitters, which was nice. And a few of the people we met have already submitted stories, or promised to submit stories, which is also good.

The highlight of our trip. Probably Giordano's. Worth the wait.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Freight Stories No. 4 now online

The fourth issue is now online, with new work by Lee Martin, Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Daniel Wallace, Patrick Nevins, Shasta Grant, Donna D. Vitucci, Andrew Roe, and Jim Tomlinson.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

No. 4 teaser

So one of our readers asked if we could preview some of the work in the next issue. We're not ready to do that yet, but I'll say that there are some big fish in this issue. And that, if we keep publishing writers like these, our future will be bright forever.